More and more people are now using organic candles instead of relying on paraffin candles that are made from petroleum-based wax. In that regard, beeswax candles and soy candles have become quite popular over the last few years because they are regarded as much healthier compared to paraffin candles. But which is better between beeswax candles and soy candles?
Beeswax candles are better than soy candles in terms of how healthy and how environmentally friendly they are. That’s because soy candles still contain paraffin and are not always made from soybeans that are organically grown. On top of that, the soy candle industry is also closely linked to deforestation.
While a lot of people may think that soy candles are quite healthy and are organic, they should think otherwise because it is not always the case that soy candles are completely all-natural. That said, beeswax candles tend to be the better choice as long as they are made with only the finest and purest beeswax and as long as no chemicals are added. Now, let’s get to know more about beeswax candles and soy candles so that you will know what truly makes them different from one another.
What are beeswax candles?
One of the oldest substances used by mankind is beeswax. It can be dated all the way back to the Ancient Egyptian period where beeswax was used for a lot of different objects. Of course, while we often think about paraffin when we think of the substances that are used to make candles, you should know that beeswax is actually the oldest substance used to make candles.
That said, even though you have just heard about the sudden rise in popularity of beeswax candles, these candles have been in use for a very long time because of how easy it was for our descendants to make candles using all-natural ingredients that they can just get from a beehive instead of actually making use of petroleum to make paraffin candles.
As you might have already guessed, beeswax candles are made from beeswax, which is a naturally occurring substance you can easily find in the hive of honeybees. Beeswax is produced whenever bees eat honey. The worker bees will then collect the beeswax produced by some of the honeybees and would then make use of it for honey storage and larval protection inside the hive.
Honey beekeepers usually collect the beeswax from the capped honey or by removing the wax from an old honeycomb. After that, it has to be rendered before it can be further used and processed into beeswax products. This includes beeswax candles.
Beeswax candles are naturally scented with honey because of the very fact that beeswax is produced from honey and is also almost always in close contact with honey. This means that there is no need for beekeepers to add a scent to beeswax candles when producing them.
Depending on how the beeswax was produced by the bees or how it was rendered or processed by the beekeeper, it can vary in color such as white to light brown. It is often said that brownish beeswax is better and more natural than lighter beeswax.
Beeswax candles are said to be the most natural and organic candle, as it is naturally sourced from the honey that bees eat. However, there are some cases where beeswax candles are actually mixed with other candle wax types, which can decrease the natural purity that beeswax candles have. Still, these candles are by far the most natural candles and are going to last indefinitely because beeswax will never rot.
What are they used for?
Beeswax candles are used for a wide variety of purposes, which include the following:
This is obvious, as any candle should be used to provide light. In fact, beeswax candles are said to be the oldest types of candles as ancient civilizations used them to provide the light they needed at night. That said, while electricity has made it possible for us to light up our houses, beeswax candles are still often used as a source of light for romantic candlelight dinners and other similar occasions. Beeswax candles also tend to burn longer, making them ideal for this 🙂
2. Air purifier
Another reason why beeswax candles are often used is that it is said that they have air-purifying capabilities that can help remove any toxic and bad odors in the vicinity. And the fact that the scent is natural allows it to fill the air with a non-toxic and non-chemical scent.
3. Environmentally friendly alternative
For those who are looking to use candles for a wide variety of purposes without adding to their carbon footprint, beeswax candles have become great alternatives because they are friendlier to the environment than paraffin candles, due to how these candles are all-natural and come with no artificial chemicals as long as they were made and processed properly.
How are beeswax candles made?
If you are interested in making your own beeswax candles, here is what you can do:
- Measure about 12 ounces of beeswax and place it in a heat-safe measuring cup. Place the measuring cup with the beeswax in a pan that has a few inches of water.
- Turn the heat up and allow the beeswax to melt over medium heat. Do not overheat or place it too long in the pan because this could burn or ignite the beeswax.
- Get yourself some cotton wicks that are a couple of inches taller than the glass jars you will be using for your beeswax candles. When the beeswax has melted, dip the wicks into the beeswax but make sure that about half an inch is left undipped in the beeswax. Also, see to it that the wicks are straight the entire time. Leave the wicks to dry on a sheet of paper.
- Use glass jars for the container of your beeswax candles. You can also use molds if you want, but it is better to use glass jars because it can be more difficult to make beeswax candles using molds since you have to position the wicks right.
- You can mix your melted beeswax with palm oil or essential oils. However, you might want to leave it as pure as it can be.
- Pour about two inches of beeswax into the glass jar. Stop right there and skewer a wick into the beeswax right at the center of the jar. Make sure that the wick reaches the bottom of the jar. From there, while holding the tip of the wick, pour more beeswax into the jar until it reaches the ideal height that you want.
- Go get a toothpick or a piece of stick that is longer than the diameter of your jar. Tie the end of the wick on that stick or use tape if it is too short to be tied. Allow the stick to lay on top of the opening of the glass jar while holding the wick in place. The purpose is to make sure that the wick does not fall down into the beeswax while it is yet to dry up and harden.
- Allow the beeswax candle to dry up before you can remove the stick from the jar. After that, your beeswax candle is ready to be used.
Pros and cons of beeswax candles
Here are some of the pros and cons you need to know about beeswax candles:
- Environmentally friendly because they are made from natural ingredients.
- Doesn’t come with that chemical-like scent as long as you did not add any artificial scent to your beeswax candle.
- Purifies the air as it burns.
- Lights up longer than most other candles.
- Does not rot and will last indefinitely when stored the right way.
- Very expensive because beeswax is expensive.
- Requires you to hold the flame over the wick longer because it will take a while for it to light.
- Not as readily available as other types of candles.
What are soy candles?
Another alternative that some people use over paraffin candles are soy candles. These candles are actually made using soy wax, which has become a good vegetable-based alternative to the other types of wax that are made from chemical and petroleum-based ingredients. As such, soy candles are becoming quite popular among those who want natural and organic products that are also vegan-friendly.
Soy candles are made from soy wax, which is produced through the hydrogenation of soybean oil. Because of how soy wax is softer than paraffin, it tends to have a lower melting point that will allow it to quickly melt compared to paraffin but will last longer because of the fact that it needs lower temperatures to melt and, thus, will not burn quickly.
Also, soy candles tend to distribute fragrances less than paraffin candles do. This makes them great for those who do not like candles that have a strong-smelling fragrance, as soy candles are generally milder in terms of their ability to spread their scents and fragrances.
Having said that, because some soy candle producers want their candles to have the benefits that paraffin brings (i.e. a higher melting point and better production of fragrance to fill a room), certain soy candles are actually mixed with paraffin. This allows the candle to work better in warm conditions and can distribute fragrances better than pure soy candles.
What are they used for?
Here are some of the more common uses for soy candles:
1. Green alternative for paraffin candles
Those who often use paraffin candles may have made the switch to soy candles because they are greener and a more environmentally friendly alternative. That’s because they are made from soybeans, which are all-natural and vegan. This allows them to decrease their carbon footprint, as soy candles are considered renewable and green resources.
Of course, the main purpose of burning a candle is to use it for light. In that regard, soy candles are also widely used as light sources in areas where electricity tends to be limited or whenever couples want to share a romantic candlelight dinner together.
When it comes to improving the scent or fragrance of a room, soy candles are effective at that, especially when you are using soy candles mixed with paraffin. So, if you want to remove nasty odors in a house or in a room, lighting up a soy candle can be a great way for you to do so.
How are soy candles made?
If you want to make your own soy candles, here is how it is often done:
- Melt soy wax flakes or soy wax pellets in a double broiler. This will allow you to mold the soy wax in a container. Also, make sure that you do not burn the soy wax because soy wax tends to have a lower melting point.
- Get your cotton wicks that are about a few inches taller than the glass jars you will be using for your soy candles. Remember that soy wax has a lower melting point, and that is why it is always essential that you use it as a container candle. Do not use molds.
- When the soy wax has melted, dip the wicks into the wax but make sure that about half an inch is left undipped. Also, make sure that the wicks are straight the entire time. Leave the wicks to dry on a sheet of paper.
- You can mix your melted soy wax with essential oils to add some fragrance. And to improve the way it disperses fragrances, you can also mix it together with paraffin.
- Pour about two inches of the melted soy wax into the glass jar. Stop and skewer a wick into the wax right at the center of the jar. Make sure that the wick reaches the bottom of the jar. From there, whilst holding the tip of the wick, pour more soy wax into the jar until it reaches the ideal height that you want.
- Go get a toothpick or a piece of stick that is longer than the diameter of your jar. Tie the end of the wick on that stick or use tape if it is too short to be tied. Allow the stick to lie on top of the opening of the glass jar while holding the wick in place. The purpose is to make sure that the wick does not fall down into the soy wax while it is yet to dry up and harden.
- Allow the soy candle to cool at room temperature overnight you can remove the stick from the jar. After that, your soy candle is ready to be used.
Pros and cons of soy candles
Here are the pros and cons of soy candles so that you can make a better and more informed decision:
- Better for the environment compared to petroleum-based paraffin candles.
- Lasts longer than paraffin candles.
- Not as affordable as paraffin candles, but are still quite affordable in candle terms 🙂
- Light in terms of their scent.
- All-natural and comes with no chemicals as long as you are using pure soy candles.
- A lot of soy candles still come with paraffin because it improves the performance of the candle.
- Soy products can contribute to deforestation because of how some soy producers cut down trees to make way for soy farms.
- When producing soy, many farms still use pesticides and GMOs to improve production.
- Not the best when it comes to improving the scent of a room.
- Easily melts and is better used as a container candle instead of as a molded candle.
Why beeswax candles are better?
Now that we know more about beeswax candles and soy candles, let us get straight to the point. So, which one is the better option here? Obviously, beeswax candles are better than soy candles, even though both options are vegan and all-natural.
The reason why beeswax candles are still better than soy candles is the fact that you can trust how environmentally friendly and natural they are. Beeswax, depending on how it was rendered, will always be cleaner and more likely to be chemical-free compared to soy wax because beeswax can only be produced by bees that rely on natural ingredients to produce the wax. On the other hand, soy products are not entirely chemical-free and completely natural because of how they are grown using chemical pesticides or are grown as GMOs. That said, in terms of how natural they are, beeswax takes the cake.
Meanwhile, you can also point to the fact that soy wax candles are not entirely pure as well because, to improve the effects of the candles, some manufacturers tend to mix them with paraffin as pure soy wax tends to melt easily and does not do well when it comes to improving the scent of a room.
Of course, let us not forget about the fact that soy production all over the world has contributed to deforestation because certain soy producers cut down trees to make way for more soy farms. So, even if you are using a vegan-friendly soy candle, doing so means that you may be indirectly contributing to deforestation.
On the other hand, beeswax candles are pure, organic, friendly to the environment, and healthier. In fact, by using beeswax candles, you are supporting bee farms all over the world as bees are some of the most important creatures in the entire ecosystem. And while beeswax candles may be more expensive, the price pales in comparison to the quality of these candles.